Instagram has a negative impact on the self-esteem of teens, especially teenage girls, according to an internal survey of Instagram itself that was seen by
The Wall Street Journal
Instagram has been researching the influence of the social media platform on how teenagers in the United States and the United Kingdom feel about themselves for three years now.
Time and again it appears that millions of users are negatively influenced by photos they see on Instagram of others.
Nearly one in three teenage girls (32 percent) has a negative image of her own body.
Instagram makes that worse.
"We are making the image teenagers have of their bodies worse for one in three teenage girls," a summary of the study wrote in 2019.
Instagram also contributes to an increase in anxiety and depression among teenagers, the researchers say.
In the UK, as many as 13 percent of teens say they have suicidal tendencies due to Instagram, and in the US this is the case for 6 percent of teens.
Facebook has always downplayed the app's negative effects on teens.
In March of this year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Congress that "research has shown that using social media apps has positive effects on mental health."
Facebook also never made the research public or made available to academics or lawmakers who requested it.
Instagram is more popular among teenagers than Facebook.
More than 40 percent of Instagram users are 22 or younger.
About 22 million teens in the US check their Instagram timeline every day, compared to 5 million teens who log into Facebook.
Also, teens in the US spend 50 percent more time on Instagram than on Facebook.